Club hockey loses both games over the weekend

By Jason Kates


In a game that was about more than just hockey, the Massachusetts club hockey team lost a hard-fought overtime battle to Northeastern, 3-2, in the annual “Benefit for the Shriners Hospital” contest on Saturday night at the MassMutual center in Springfield.

The Minutemen (5-5) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by senior Kevin Joyce and freshman Ryan Daigle, but were unable to put the game away.

The Huskies (7-1) scored two goals in the third period less than two minutes apart on goals by Kenneth Phillips and Kyle Demers. Phillips also provided the game-winner in overtime.

While the loss may sting for UMass, coach Steve MacKay believed it was not the main purpose of the game.

“The Northeastern players and UMass players, as well as the Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association (NECHA) wanted to entertain the crowd and we did that,” MacKay said. “We also wanted to earn some money for charity, and we did that.”

Five Minutemen got on the score sheet for the game, with sophomore Mike Defazio, senior Craig Charest and freshman Peter Kelly all providing an assist on the goals by Joyce and Daigle. MacKay said he didn’t have a lot to say to his team after a loss like that.

“I told the guys the lessons from the loss were self-evident. However, there were many good things to remember, “ MacKay said. “For us to lead that game for two periods after losing to them 7-1 last time we faced them and only lose in overtime certainly makes a statement.”

UMass looks to snap its three game losing streak Sunday afternoon in Easthampton when it takes on rival Boston College at 4:30 p.m.

Comeback falls short

After rallying from a 2-0 deficit, the Minutemen lost to the Connecticut 3-2 Friday night at the Mullins Center.

Power play goals scored by Joyce and Daigle were not enough for the Minutemen  as a late tally from Huskies forward Brandon Cummings won it in the end.

MacKay believes his team had many opportunities to win the match, with UConn committing eight penalties in the game.

“I told them that for us to win we have to play 60 minutes of hockey, not 40 minutes. When other teams make a mistake, we have to be able to capitalize,” MacKay said.

UMass suffered a key loss when senior forward Greg Berube left the game with an injury, which MacKay believed to be a momentum changer.

“At that point, the game became less physical and we failed to shut down the other team’s key offensive players,” he said.

Joyce and Daigle led the way for the Minutemen, tallying a goal and an assist a piece, while senior Marc Marin and freshman Brian Collins each contributed an assist.

Luke Lepine was in net for UMass and was credited with the loss, while Huskies goalie Matthew LaBarge got the win. Joyce is now tied with fellow senior Mark Joyce for the team lead in points with 10.

Jason Kates can be reached at [email protected]